"The practice of automatic processing has caused some to speculate mistakenly that Google "reads" your emails", the blog post says. Now, Google only allows vetted third-parties to gain such permissions but, as per the article, the number of developers with full access to your emails may number in the hundreds.
"Email data collectors use software to scan millions of messages a day, looking for clues about consumers that they can sell to marketers, hedge funds and other businesses", the report added, saying data miners generally have access to other email services besides Gmail.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, "hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users" who have given permission for these apps to connect in return for things like price-comparison services and travel alerts. The report further states that not only can the companies developing products and services read users private emails, it also includes all their employees too.
Clients and services may require access; a third-party email client needs access to emails, and an add-on that runs directly on Gmail needs access as well.
Google is allowing app developers to sift through your Gmail account. At one point about two years ago, Return Path employees read about 8,000 unredacted emails to help train the company's software, people familiar with the episode say.
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It said Gmail users could visit the Security Check-up page to see which apps they had linked to their account, and revoke any they no longer wanted to share data with.
But you should make sure you trust the apps and developers that have such access to your accounts and that you are only giving them as much access as they need.
If any apps give you the creeps about what kind of data it can pilfer from you, you can simply click on "Remove access" to banish it into the digital trash bin.
"Overall there should be no surprises for Google users: hidden features, services, or actions that are inconsistent with the marketed objective of your application may lead Google to suspend [access]".
Only companies checked by Google would be able to access messages and users would have had to grant permission when they agreed to the terms and conditions of third-party tools.